Innovation Group, part of the London-listed global business process outsourcing operation, Innovation Group plc – is conducting a rebranding exercise following its name-change from eQuals Group to Innovation Group during 2006. It has also announced that it is expecting to increase turnover by 35% for the year ended September 2007.

This is according to Pule Mokoena, group executive: marketing at Innovation Group, who adds that the South African subsidiary has notched up turnover increases in excess of 30% since 1998.
“Innovation Group has established itself as the dominant player in the South African business processing and software outsourcing market. The company, which is wholly owned by London-listed Innovation Group plc, has seen its staff complement expand by more than 100 during the last 12 months. This takes its head count to more than 800.
“Together with this growth has been a name-change, leading to a rebranding exercise that will see the company renaming its various business units – which offer a diversity of technology enabled outsourcing solutions – so that they are all united under the Innovation Group brand. The business units,” said Mokoena, “are currently being renamed and realigned under one entity to reflect the holistic solutions offered by the company.”
The company provides software and back office processing solutions for a multitude of industries, including life and general insurance, financial services, the motor industry, banking and property. Innovation Group clients include Nedbank, Toyota SA, Jaguar, McCarthy Group and Absa.
As part of the rebranding, the company is also aiming to focus more acutely on gaining market share in the public sector market, where it will provide back office and processing solutions to government on a national, provincial and local level.
“Last year we concluded a black economic empowerment (BEE) deal with BEE investment group, Jala Capital, which gives us the correct black empowerment pedigree and rating to seriously court government business.”
The R130-million deal involved the purchase of a 25% interest in Innovation Group in South Africa. The deal was financed by a Barclays Bank loan, out of London, secured by an Innovation Group plc guarantee. Innovation Group plc boasts an annual turnover of &80million (pounds) per annum.
The transaction was not done at a discount to net asset value.
Mokoena says the BEE transaction “changes the playing field” for the company, saying that the deal saw a newly created Special Purpose Vehicle, Intuthuko Investments, purchasing a 25% + 1 share stake in the company from Innovation Group Holdings, which is 100% owned by Innovation group plc.
In terms of the agreement, all staff members – numbering more than 800 – will be equal beneficiaries of the stare scheme.
“Before the rebranding exercise began Innovation Group had too many disparate entities, or business units, that offered their own niche-market product and solutions offerings. These offerings straddle a wide range of business sectors and our realignment – which is fairly far down the road – is being conducted so that there is more transparency and so that our clients are able to have a more holistic view of the organisation, and what it can offer from a broad-based point of view."